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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/762

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

logically, to worms. Further he has essentially enlarged our knowledge of the important group of Tunicata by his researches on the Ascidians, Appendicularia, Pyrosoma, Doliolum, Salpa, etc.

Many important advances in the morphology of the Mollusca and Arthropoda are also due to him. Thus, e. g., he has greatly elucidated the controverted subject of the homology of regions of the body in the various classes of Mollusca. He has considered the generation of vine-fretters from quite a new point of view, based on his "genealogical conception of animal Individuality." But it is the comparative anatomy and classification of the Vertebrata which, during the last ten years, he has especially studied and advanced. His excellent "Lectures on the Elements of Comparative Anatomy" afford abundant proof of this, to say nothing of his numerous important monographs, especially those on living and extinct fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Huxley's works on the comparative anatomy of the Vertebrata are the only ones which can be compared with the otherwise incomparable investigations of Carl Gegenbaur. These two inquirers exhibit, particularly in their peculiar scientific development, many points of relationship. They both belong to that small circle of morphologists which is marked by the names of Caspar Friedrich Wolff, George Cuvier, Wolfgang Goethe, Johannes Müller, and Carl Ernst von Baer.

More important than any of the individual discoveries which are contained in Huxley's numerous less and greater researches on the most widely different animals, are the profound and truly philosophical conceptions which have guided him in his inquiries, have always enabled him to distinguish the essential from the unessential, and to value special empirical facts chiefly as a means of arriving at general ideas. Those views of the two germinal layers of animals which were published as early as 1849 belong to the most important generalizations of comparative anatomy; they already contain in germ the idea of the "perfect homology of the two primary germinal layers through the whole series of animals (except protozoa)," which first found its complete expression, a short time since, in the "Gastræa theory;" also his researches on animal individuality, his treatment of the celebrated vertebral theory of the skull, in which he first opened out the right track, following which Carl Gegenbaur has solved in so brilliant a manner this important problem, and, above all, his exposition of the Theory of Descent and its consequences belong to this class. After Charles Darwin had, in 1859, reconstructed this most important biological theory, and, by his epoch-making theory of Natural Selection, placed it on an entirely new foundation, Huxley was the first who extended it to man; and, in 1863, in his celebrated three lectures on "Man's Place in Nature," admirably worked out its most important developments. With luminous clearness and convincing certainty, he has